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tv   Democracy Now  WHUT  September 27, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT

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09/27/12 09/27/12 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is "democracy now!" >> alec has close to 1000 bills, an average of 200 pass. this has been going on decades. sometimes alec managed to remain the most political organization you have never heard of. >> the united states of alec. a special bill moyers report and how the secretive american adjusted exchange council has helped corporate america propose and even draft
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legislation for states across the country. >> i was stunned at the notion that politicians and corporate representatives were voting behind closed doors on these changes to the law before they were introduced in state houses across the country. >> as the yen and the states declares wikileaks founder julian assange to be an enemy of the state, we will air is addressed to the united nations from inside the ecuadorean embassy in london where he has been holed up for the past 100 days. >> it is time for the u.s. to cease the persecution of wikileaks, to cease its persecution of our people, and to cease its persecution of our sources. >> we will play julian assange's address and speak to his attorney michael ratner. all of that and more coming up. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report.
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i'm amy goodman. anti-austerity protests continue to rage in greece and spain as both countries praise for fresh cuts. greek leaders a meeting today over $15 billion austerity plan aimed at persuading international lenders to release tens of billions in aid. demonstrations erupted across greece and the first general strike since the new government took office in june. in the greek capital athens, tens of thousands took to the streets, some hurling firebombs, breaking windows, and setting fires. spain is expected to unveil massive cuts today in its budget plan for next year. on wednesday, protesters are rounded the spanish parliament for a second day to protest against austerity. opposition activists are claiming more than 300 people were killed in syria's violence on wednesday, the highest single-day toll of the 18-month- old conflict to date.
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the killings include an alleged massacre in the town of dh iyabia, where some 40 people were reportedly slain. video released by opposition activists shows rows of bloodied corpses covered in blankets. the nine nations refugee agency is warning up to 700,000 people may wind up fleeing syria by the end of the year, far greater than the previous estimate. some 294,000 refugees have already left syria this year. in an address to the u.n., egyptian president morsi criticized the regime of bashar al-assad, but warned against international intervention in syria. >> egypt is committed to pursuing the sincere effort it has been making to put an end to the tragedy in syria.
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a framework that preserves the unity of this brotherly state must involve all sections of the syrian people without discrimination based on race, religion, or sex. it would spare syria the danger of foreign military intervention, which we oppose, of course make up in his final appearance before the u.n. general assembly before his term expires in nine months, iranian president ahmadinejad gave a more subdued speech than in previous years, addressing the threat of an israeli military attack on iran, ahmadinejad referred to israel as uncivilized zionists. >> intimidation by nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction have become prevalent. testing generations of older model prebendary the less
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weaponry [indiscernible] is now being used as a new language of threats against nations [indiscernible] continued threats by the uncivilized zionists to resort to military action against our great nation is a clear example of this reality. >> the u.s., canadian, and israeli delegations at the u.n. all skipped ahmadinejad's speech. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu is expected to address the general assembly today. president obama and republican challenger mitt romney each spent wednesday campaigning in the battleground state of ohio, a key prize in the battle to win the november election. both candidates appealed to voters by attacking the other's record on china, with romney saying he will stop the country from taking u.s. jobs. >> one of the nations that has cheated over the years has been china. they have artificially held down
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the value of their currency. by doing that, the prices of their products are artificially low. when the prices are low and compete with our manufacturers, our guys go out of business and lose jobs. one thing i will do from day one is labelled china a currency manipulator. they must not steal jobs in unfair ways. >> romley's comments come days after his tax returns showed his trust has invested in a chinese will company doing business with iran. president obama criticized his comments on china. >> he said he is going to take the fight to the chinese. he will go after these cheaters. i have got to admit, that message is better than what he has actually done. it sounds better than talking about all the years he spent propping from companies that sent our jobs to china. >> obama was speaking at bowling
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state university. at the university of california has reached a $1 million settlement with 21 protesters at uc davis who were pepper sprayed at a student demonstration last november. the incident sparked a nationwide outcry after video was posted online showing a campus police lieutenant repeatedly pepper spraying students in the face from only a few feet away as they sat on the ground. the settlement includes a $30,000 payout to each of those who were sprayed, attorneys' fees, and a formal apology from the uc davis chancellor. newly disclosed documents have revealed details on how the u.s. military carried out testing of chemicals on major u.s. cities during the 1950's and 1960's. sociologists lisa martino taylor a sailor is committed to college says zinc cadmium sulfide was sprayed in several cities without residents'
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knowledge. the most densely sprayed area appears to have been a housing complex for low-income people in st. louis. >> it is pretty shocking. the level of duplicity and secrecy, clearly they went to great lengths to deceive people. there's a lot of evidence that indicates people in st. louis, particularly minority communities, were subjected to military tests that was connected to a large array of the testing project. >> a former guatemalan army commander accused in the 1982 massacre has been ordered to stand trial on charges he lied about his past to obtain u.s. citizenship. jorge sosa was allegedly a commanding officer during the notorious killings when a u.s.- backed death squad killed more than 200 villagers, including women and children who were strangled, beaten with sledgehammers, and thrown down a well.
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sosa was extradited to the u.s. from canada last week. if convicted, he could be extradited back to guatemala to face charges in connection with the massacre after he completes his sentence. a study commissioned by 20 developing countries is warning more than 100 million people will die by 2030 as the world fails to take on global warming. i'm at a vulnerable forum says air pollution, hunger, disease caused by climate change in the consumption of fossil fuels will kill 5 million people per year. more than 90% of the estimated deaths would occur in developing countries. the report also warns global warming threatens to seriously contract the global economy over the next decade. the obama administration has taken new steps to loosen sanctions on burma following a series of reforms by the ruling junta. in a meeting at the u.n. general assembly, secretary of state clinton told the burmese president at the u.s. will ease its ban on imports from burma.
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>> we have watched as you and your government have continued the steady process of reform, and we have been pleased to respond with specific steps that recognize the government's efforts and encourage further reform. in recognition of the continued progress toward reform and in response to requests from both the government and the opposition, the united states is taking the next up in normalizing our commercial relationship. >> the national football league has reached an agreement to end a labor dispute with the referees. the nfl rushed to make the deal after a botched call by replacement officials decided the outcome of a nationally televised game monday night, prompting widespread outrage from fans, journalists, and the teams. you can go to to see our interview with
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sportswriter dave zirin. in sweden, the 2012 right livelihood awards have been announced to four recipients. turkish environmental activist hayrettin karaca "for a lifetime of tireless advocacy and support for the protection and stewardship of our natural world." afghan women's activist -- a u.s. scholar gene sharp -- and to britain's campaign against arms trade -- handed out annually, the right glove awards are widely known as the alternative nobel prize. those are some of the headlines. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
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we begin our show with a look at the secretive american legislative exchange council. the organization, often known as alec, brings together major corporations and state legislators to craft and vote on model bills behind closed doors. it has come under increasing scrutiny for its role in promoting stand your ground gun laws, voter suppression bills, union busting policies, and other controversial legislation. the organization's agenda has sparked so much controversy that 40 major u.s. companies, including walmart, coca-cola, kraft, and general motors, have recently severed ties with alec. alec is the focus of a new documentary but the legendary journalist bill moyers titled, "the united states of alec." it will air this weekend on moyers and company, but is premiering today on "democracy now!"
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>> i have often told people i talk to on the campaign trail when they say, state what? i tell them that decisions made here in the legislature often are more important for your everyday life than the decisions the president makes. >> if you really want influence politics, you do not just give money to presidential campaigns or congressional campaign committees. smart players put their money in states. >> alec has forged a unique partnership between state legislators and leaders from the corporate and business community. this partnership offers businessmen the extraordinary opportunity to apply their talents to solve our nation's problems and build on our opportunities. >> i was stunned at the notion
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that politicians and corporate representatives, corporate lobbyists were actually voting behind closed doors on these changes to law before they're introduced in state houses across the country. >> alec, i think, has been a wonderful organization. not only does it bring like minded legislators together, but the private sector engagements and partnership in alec are what i think makes it the organization that is. >> you might have heard the name alec and the news lately. >> the american legislative exchange council. >> alec. >> alec its initial one consortium of elected state legislators working side by side with some of america's most powerful corporations. they have an agenda you should know about, a mission to remake america, changing the country by
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changing its laws one state at a time. alec creates what it calls model legislation, a pro corporate laws like this one that its members push in statehouses across the country. it has close to 1000 bills based in least a part in its models are introduced every year at an average of 200 pass. this has been going on for decades. somehow, alec remains the most influential corporate find a political organization you have never heard of. until the gunshot sounded the floor tonight critic >> recall the shooter in trayvon martin's death was protected at first by florida's so-called stand your ground law. that law was the work of the national rifle association. there is its lobbyists standing by jeb bush when he signed it into law in 2005.
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although alec did not originate the florida law, it seized on it for the stand your ground model it would circulate in other states. 24 of them have passed a version of it. >> how to this that it implies only in florida but around the country? -- how did this blog it passed not only of florida, but around the country? the fingers pointed to alec. they do it with some of the biggest corporate brands in america. >> corporations were pulling out of alec, including coca-cola, kraft foods, mcdonald's, procter and gamble, johnson and johnson. caught in the glare of the national spotlight, alec tried to change the subject. >> i think the entire debate needs to be referring to. alec is a bipartisan association of state legislators. legislators of all political stripes coming together to talk about the most critical issues
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facing the states and try to come up with the best solutions. >> your point is it is not a partisan organization. >> alec is partisan, and then some. >> i got a call from a person who said that all of the alec bills were available and was interested in looking at them. i said i was. >> lisa graves, a former justice department lawyer, runs the center for media democracy, a nonprofit investigative reporting group in madison, wisconsin. in 2011, by way of and alec insider, she got her hands on the virtual library of internal documents. she was amazed by its contents. a treasure trove of actual alec model bills. >> these are the bills that were provided by the whistleblower. that is just the index. >> there were more than 850 of them.
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850 boilerplate laws that alec legislators could introduce as their own in any state in the union. >> bills change a lot of it harder for americans to vote. those were our bills. they could dramatically change the lives of people. bills to make it harder for unions to do their work were alec bills, basically to block climate change agreements were alec bills. when i looked at them, i was shocked. i did not know how incredibly extensive and deep and far- reaching this effort to rework our laws was. >> she and her team began to plow to the documents to compile a list of people who work or had been alec members. they found hundreds of corporations from coca-cola and koch industries to exxonmobil,
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pfizer, and walmart. dozens of right-wing think tanks and foundations. two dozen corporate law firms and lobbying firms. and some 1000 state legislators, a few democrats, the majority or republican. >> alec is a corporate service for legislators and corporate special interests that eventually the relationship culminates with some special interest legislation and hopefully, that lives happily ever after as the alec model. unfortunately, what is excluded from that is the public. >> in the wisconsin state house, mark mccann is trying to expose alec's fingerprints whenever he can. by one count, over one-third of fellow wisconsin lawmakers are alec members. >> when you look around, and lot of members of alec print front row, alec. when you start going down to the
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chair of finance and other members, are all alec members. row by row, you can point out people who have been members of alec over the years. one category is how to reduce the fact of government in the other is, this model legislation in the corporate good. profit driven legislation, in other words. how can you open a new market or private has something that could open a market for a company? between those two divisions, you're getting to the same and go, altman privatization of everything. >> he is something of an expert. to learn as much as he could, he became a member of alec. >> what i realized is if you join alec for a mere $100 as a legislator, your full access like any corporate member.
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>> he took itself to a conference for a firsthand look. >> welcome to my video blog. i'm in new orleans at the alec convention. >> that is where you watch the interaction in a room full of lobbyists. wining and dining, many people does came from a dinner sponsored by some special interests coming to a party sponsored by special interests so they could continue to talk about special interests. >> this is from the new orleans convention, including a number of seminars that they held for legislators including one called "warming up to climate change." the many benefits of increased atmospheric co2. >> the 2011 conference was sponsored by bp, exxonmobil, chevron, and shell, among others. another event featured bands ditco this is the nra-sponsored
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shooting event for legislators and lobbyists. >> there's even one offering free cigars. >> sponsored by reynolds american, one of the biggest tobacco companies in the world, and the cigar association of america. >> it sounds like lobbying, looks like lobbying, but alex says it is not. in fact, alec operates not only as a lobby group, but a nonprofit, a charity in its filing with the irs saying its mission is education. which means it pays no taxes and its corporate members get a tax write-off. its legislators get a lot, too. >> in wisconsin, i cannot take anything of value from a lobbyist. i cannot take a cup of coffee. at alec, it is the opposite. you are wined and dined for days in order to hear about the special legislation.
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the head of shell oil fluid on his private jet to come to this conference. the head of one of the largest utility companies was on the panel. he is presenting to legislators. they clearly brought in some of the biggest corporate needs and special interest-dom and in meetings with legislators. >> the united states of alec. we will return to the special report by bill moyers in a moment. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we turn to part two of "the united states of alec." a special report by bill moyers airing this week on lawyers in
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company, but premiering today of here on "democracy now!" >> the most important business happens and what alec calls taskforce is print their curly eight of them with a corporate take on every and porn issue in american life from american health and say to the environment to taxation. elected state officials and corporate representatives close the door to press and public and to gather, approved the bills that will be sent out to america. americans have no idea they come from alec unless someone l exposes it. >> when i went to the alec convention last august, i remember going to a workshop and hearing a little bit about a bill they did in florida and some other states. there is a proposal to provide special need scholarships. i come back to wisconsin and what gets introduced was to write get ready. i know you have a shocked look. a bill to do just that.
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>> 26 alec members in wisconsin legislators sponsored the special needs bill, but the real sponsor was alec. the bill bore a striking resemblance to alec's model. have a look. >> he is not concerned that only alec's since bills into the state legislature. >> some of the legislation sounds so immaculate. when you read about why they're doing it, and another is a far different reason why something is coming forth and that is important the average person and, if they knew that a bill like this from some groups like alec, you would look at it differently and not look at the legislator differently about why they introduced it. this is not about education. this is not about helping kids with special needs. this is about privatization.
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this is about corporate profits. this is about dismantling public education. >> the bill passed in the wisconsin house, but failed to make it through the senate. in its education report card, alec boasts similar bills have passed and oklahoma, louisiana, north carolina, and ohio. alec's education engine it includes online schooling as well. take a careful look and you'll find the profit motive there, too. >> corporations have a direct benefit, whose bottom line benefits from these bills. voting on these bills in the alec task force so corporations a connection academy, they have a direct financial interest in advancing this agenda. >> those corporations which specializes in on-line education, and profit handsomely from laws that direct taxpayer money toward businesses like theirs. in 2011, both sat on alec's
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education task force. but the two companies did not just approved the model bill, they helped craft it. the proof is in one of alec's own documents. there is more to the story. >> house bill 1030 has to do with the establishment of a virtual public schools. >> last year, an online school in bill based on the alec model turned up in another state where alec has a powerful influence -- tennessee. it was introduced in both the state senate and house by alec members. the bill passed, making private corporations eligible for public money for online education. then within weeks, k12 corp. got a no bid contract to provide online education to any tennessee students from kindergarten through the eighth grade. let's review. the alec member corporations
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helped craft the bill. alec legislators introduced it and vote on it, and now there is a state law on the books that enables one of those corporations to get state money. game. set. match. this story is not about one company and the education industry and one lot in tennessee, but about hundreds of corporations in most every industry in flensing lawmakers in state after state, using alec as a friend. the american bill coalition, which represents the bill on industry, pulls no punches about writing alec's model bills itself. a few years back and in his letter, the coalition boasted it had written 12 alec model bills fortifying the commercial bail industry. here is jerry watson, senior legal counsel for the coalition, speaking at an alec meeting in 2007. he has a lot to offer. >> there is a model bill for you
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to review if you might be interested in introducing such a measure. >> he will even help legislators amend it. >> if you do not like the precise language of the suggested documents, can they be tweaked? absolutely. will we work with them on that and work with you and your staff? absolutely. >> all the lawmakers have to do is bring him up. >> there is a phone number there for our executive offices in washington, d.c. we are prepared to help you and your staff and support this legislation in any way we can. >> guess what? there is gold at the end of the rainbow. >> but i'm not so crazy to know that if i can talk you into doing this bill, my clients are going to make some money on the bond premiums. >> an corporate interest
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conflate it with the public interest. >> if we can help you save crime victims in your legislative district, and generate positive revenue for your state, and help solve your prison overcrowding problem, you don't mind me making a dollar. >> alec members are seldom up front as the american bill coalition. ordinarily, alec's hand is very hard to see at all. if you know where to look, you'll often find alec hiding in plain sight. >> in addition to its regular vacation resort trips, alec has what it calls boo'ed can a particular substantive issues. >> in march 2011, alec held one of those food cans for legislators at the north carolina capital in raleigh. the subject was so-called tort reform, how to keep the average joe from successfully suing the corporation for damages.
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the day after the boot camp, tuesday representatives presented a draft version of the house bill chock full of alec priorities. it would, among other things, limit corporate product liability and north carolina. one of the red -- legislators was quoted in the paper saying of alec, "i really don't know much about them." that is odd, because he had been listed as a featured speaker at the alec torte reform boot camp. the paper also reported that rhyne said the bill was not copied. that was odd, given how the sections covering product liability could have passed as twins. >> the bill's controversial print it passed, but only after the product liability sections
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were passed. the tor reformers were back a year later, this time with a draft bill aimed specifically to limit the liability of drug manufacturers. when the public was allowed to comment before legislative panels, people who lost loved ones came to testify against the bill. a son of a lost a father. >> all i can do is sit here and be a voice for him. >> a grandfather mourning his granddaughter. >> if this bill passes, an innocent victim and north carolina >> i mentioned to those in the rooms, alec was present, too, in the form of a lobbyist with glaxosmithkline. >> several of the opposing
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testify as today brought up very compelling stories. >> not only is glaxosmithkline a corporate member, he is also vice chairman of alec's national private enterprise board. the north carolina bill has been tabled for now. so now we have seen how works with corporations. how about politicians? >> the president finally and balanced a shellacking. republicans in control of the house, picking up 60 seats so far. >> when all the returns were counted in 2010, alec was a big winner but eight of the republican governors elected or reelected that night had ties to the group. >> guess what? i am going to be governor of ohio. >> there will be a lot of news and a lot of observers that say we made history.
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>> a star was born that election night. wisconsin's new governor, son of alec named scott walker. >> wisconsin is open for business. >> i know scott walker. i've known him for the better part of 20 years. scott is a classic career politician. i don't say that in a negative way. >> journalist john nichols has tracked scott walker's car since the 1990's when scott walker was a state legislator and then alec member. >> he did not present him as alec alumni or big business people, he ran a very dominant campaign. >> this is my lunch. a brown bag every day. >> despite the folksy image, nichols says walker have become
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a master political fund raiser. >> he began to forge incredibly close ties with a lot of corporate interests he had first been introduced to in alec. groups like the koch brothers brad >> david and charles cook, behind the vast industrial empire are also political activists with an agenda. their companies and foundations have been alec members and funders three years. >> there were among the two or three largest contributors to scott walker's campaign for governor of wisconsin but the koch brothers get that if you really want to influence politics in this country, you don't just give money to presidential campaigns. you don't is the money to congressional campaign committees. the smart players put their money in the states. >> i am -- >> state governor's fund education, social services, and it taxes. >> if you want lower taxes and government, i'm scott
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walker. >> you can change without going to washington, without having to go through congressional hearing or ever having to lobby on capitol hill, without ever having to talk to a president. >> raise your right hand and repeat after me and. >> the new government moved quickly with alec-inspired bills including one similar to florida's stand your ground and other made it easier to carry concealed weapons. it was a resolution opposing the mandated purchase of health insurance and there was one of limiting corporate liability. the wisconsin legislature passed a so-called tort reform measure that included parts of eight different alec models. alec was elated, praising walker and the legislator in the press release for "immediate attention to reform the state's legal system." but scott walker was also shooting for another big alec
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prize. >> some question why we reform collective bargaining. >> taking a workers' collective bargaining rights. that had long been an alec goal. the candid video was discovered. the billionaire businesswoman. >> we will start in a couple of weeks with our budget. the first that is, we're going to deal with collective bargaining for all public employee unions. >> despite an extraordinary public outcry -- after a brief but intense political struggle, the entire collective bargaining measures became state law. -- the anti-collective bargaining measures became state law. >> it and it almost 50 years of collective bargaining laws. >> remember, this is not just about one state.
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it is about every state. take arizona. it is practically an alec subsidiary. one report found 49 of the 90 legislators. two-thirds of republican leadership are alec taskforce is. not surprising, arizona is among the states passing alec-inspired laws to privatize education at taxpayer expense. no surprise, arizona is also getting alec-like laws to limit corporate liability. >> police will be able that ask anyone to prove their legal status they go in arizona, they may news in 2010 with the law allowing police to stop someone from looking hispanic and detaining them if they were not caring proper papers. so it probably will not shocking to learn that arizona's immigration law also inspired an alec model. a version of which was passed in 5 other states.
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we're all familiar with alec and the influence it has with many members here. >> it proved too much for state representative steve farley. >> it is fine for corporations to be involved in the process. they have the right to present their arguments. they don't have the right to do it secretly or to lobby people and not registered lobbyists. they do not have the right to take people away on trips, convince them, send them back here and nobody has seen how the legislator has got the idea and where it has come from. >> his introduced a bill to force legislators to disclose their alec tis, just as the law already requires them to do with any lobbyists. >> all i am asking is to make sure all of those expenses are reported as if they are lobbying expenses, gives legislators received are reported as gifts. so the public can make up their
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own minds about who is influencing what. his bill has gone nowhere. alec is still everywhere, still hiding in plain sight. watch for it coming soon to a state house near you. >> "the united states of alec" this special report by bill moyers and will air this weekend on moyers and company. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we will be back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
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u.s. air force counter intelligence documents show military personnel who contact wikileaks or its supporters may be at risk of being tortured communicating with the enemy, a military crime that carries a maximum sentence of death.
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the designation is the same legal category as a al qaeda and the taliban. the report came just before julian assange spoke via video link to a side member of the u.n. general assembly on wednesday. he spoke from inside the ecuadorean embassy in london. ecuador granted him diplomatic asylum to prevent julian assange from the extradited to sweden over sex crime accusations john assange is seeking asylum because he fears extradition to sweden may lead to his transfer to the united states where he is concerned he could potentially face charges relating to wikileaks. later in the broadcast, we will speak with michael ratner, the attorney of julian assange for first, his address from last night. >> i want to tell you an american story. i wanted to lay the story of a young american soldier in iraq. the soldier was born in oklahoma to welsh mother and
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u.s. navy father read his parents fell in love. his father was stationed at the u.s. military base in wales. the soldier showed early promise as a boy, winning top prizes at science fairs three years in a row. he believed in the truth. like all of us, he hated hypocrisy. he believed in the party and the right for all of us to pursue happiness. he believed in the values that founded an independent united states. he believes and medicine, justice, and pain. like many teenagers, he was unsure what to do with his life. he knew he wanted to defend his country. he knew he wanted to learn about the world. he entered the u.s. military, and like his father, trained as an intelligence analyst. in late 2009, age 21, he was deployed to iraq.
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there, it is alleged, he sought u.s. military that did not often follow the rule of law and she sought u.s. military that did not often follow the rule of law. it is alleged it was there in baghdad in 2010 that he gave to wikileaks, gave to me, and alleged he gave to the world details that exposed the torture of iraqis, the murder of journalists, and the detailed records of over 120,000 selling killings in iraq and afghanistan -- 120,000 killings in iraq and afghanistan. and the diplomatic cables that then went on to help trigger the arab spring. this young soldier's name is bradley manning. allegedly betrayed by an
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informer, he was then and present in baghdad imprisoned in kuwait, and in virginia where he was kept for nine months in isolation and subjected to severe abuse. the u.n. special rapporteur for torture one mendez investigated and formally found against the united states. hillary clinton spokesman resigned bradley manning signs for all-star, soldier, and patriot, was degraded, abused, and psychologically tortured by his own government. he was charged with the death penalty sentence. these things happen to him as the u.s. government tried to break him, to force him to testify against wikileaks and me. as of today, bradley manning has been detained without trial for 866 days. the legal maximum in the u.s.
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military is 120 days. the u.s. in ministration has been trying to direct a national regime of secrecy, a national regime of -- or any government employee revealing sensitive information to me organization can be sentenced to death, life imprisonment, or espionage. and journalists from the media organization with them. we should not underestimate the scale of the investigation which has happened in to wikileaks. i only wish i could say that bradley manning was the only victim of this situation, but the assault on wikileaks in relation to that matter and others has produced an investigation that austrian diplomats say is without
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precedence in its scale and nature, that the u.s. government called a hold of government investigation. those government agencies identified so far as a matter of public records having been involved in this investigation include the department of defense, southcom, the defense intelligence agency, the u.s. army criminal investigation division, the united states forces and iraq, the first armored division, u.s. army computer and crimes investigative unit, the second army, cyber command. and within that, three separate divisions. the federal bureau of investigation, which now has, according to court testimony,
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earlier this year, produced a file of 42,135 pages into wikileaks of which less than a thousand concern bradley manning. the department of state, the department of state's diplomatic security services, in addition we been investigated by the office of the director-general of national intelligence, the office of counterintelligence executive, central intelligence agency, house oversight committee, the national security and the piab. the president's intelligence advisory board. the department of justice's spokesperson confirmed in july 2012, the department of justice investigation into wikileaks is ongoing. so for all barack obama's fine
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words yesterday, and there were many of them, it is his administration that goes on his campaign website, criminalizing more speech than all previous presidents combined, i am reminded of the phrase, the audacity of hope. who can say the president of the united states is not an audacious or not a audacity for the united states government to take credit for the last two years of progress? was it not audacious for him to say on tuesday, the in the states supported the forces of change in the arab spring delaware-the united states supported the forces of change in the arab spring. the man who set himself on
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fire, it was a result of what he had to suffer under the regime. ben ali and its government for long years have enjoyed the indifference, if not the support of the hit on the states, in full knowledge of its excessive and crimes. it must come as a surprise to two nations that the united states supported the forces of change -- to the two nations that the industry supported the forces of change. it must come as a surprise for the egyptian teenagers to wash the teargas out of their eyes, that the u.s. the administration supported change. it must have come as a surprise to hear clinton insists that 's regime was stable. it must come as a surprise that the u.s.-backed its hated intelligence chief omar
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suleiman, who we proved the u.s. knew was a torture, to take the realm. it must come as a surprise to all those egyptians who heard vice-president joe biden declared that hosni mubarak was a democrat in the julian assange was a high-tech terrorist. it is disrespectful to the dead and to be incarcerated of bringing costs uprising to claim the united states supported the forces for change. that is indeed audacity. who can say it is not audacious to the president's concern to appear to look leaderly, look back on this change, the people's change, and tries to call it his own. we can take hours because it means the white house has seen this progress is inevitable.
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in this season of progress, the president has seen which way the wind is blowing. and he must pretend it is his in ministration who made it below. >> wikileaks founder julian assange addressing a side meeting of the u.n. general assembly wednesday night. for more, we're joined by michael ratner, legal advisor to julian assange and wikileaks. welcome to "democracy now!" talk about what he said and also this latest information that has come out under the freedom of information act that suggests the u.s. may be looking at julian assange as an enemy of the state. >> the point he ended on in the speech you just put up on "democracy now!" was the obama administration is taking credit for the arab spring. what he points out is that is a false view of history. that the obama administration both with tunisia supported ben
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ali or was indifferent to him, to what he was doing to his own people. with regard to egypt, they supported mubarak. hillary clinton called him a great democrat or whatever she said. in fact, it was wikileaks that brought out the documents in early december about tunisia that really show the corruption of the ben ali regime and has been given credit by the tunisian government for helping encourage that arab spring. he tries to correct the record on the obama administration somehow putting itself ford is taking credit. the people in the middle east, they know what both the obama administration did or did not do and what has been done for a long time by the united states and middle east. with regard to this other issue revealed yesterday by wikileaks as well as a number of journalists, the designation arguably that wikileaks is an enemy of the united states and
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julian assange is an enemy. but that service in a series of freedom of information act documents in which an analyst in the u.k., an analyst for the u.s., a soldier who had taught security clearance, began to be sympathetic with bradley manning and wikileaks. investigation is then be done. she visited the trial when julian assange was on track, met with his friends. >> this is a woman has top security clearance and they start to see she is going to these meetings and rawlings -- rallies for julian assange. >> yes, and we have the documents in which they investigate her for communicating with the enemy, which is the same charge 104d of the uniform code of military justice, as which carries a penalty of death, the same charge bradley manning is being tried on read in the face of the document, it appears wikileaks and julian assange are looked at as the enemy. if that is the case, it is
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serious consequences. we all know what you can do with the enemy. you can draw on them, capture them, put them in a cell forever. it is very serious. that is one possibility. it is a likely possibility from reading these documents that wikileaks is an enemy and julian assange is an enemy. the other possibility is wikileaks is the means by which this military analyst is communicating with the enemy. she is turning over documents. she never did. but allegedly, could have turned over documents to wikileaks. by doing that, she's communicating with the enemy because wikileaks will publish them in al qaeda or some in the u.s. has already designated as an enemy will read them. either possibility is terrible for julian assange and wikileaks and for journalists. it is terrible because if wikileaks is an enemy, i've already said how series that would be, it but if there is a means of communicating with the
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enemy, they could still be charged -- wikileaks could be charged with aiding the enemy and could be arrested, could be kept at guantanamo, etc. >> enemy is like a kite, taliban. >> yes. either answer is very bad for wikileaks and julian assange. is he being looked at like al qaeda or the taliban? or a means by which someone like this is communicating with >> he is now in the ecuadorean embassy in london for 100 days. what is happening? >> the foreign minister gave a talk with julian yesterday at the u.n. in said, we will never, ever surrender julian assange. he has been given asylum and now the demand is the u.k. give safe passage to julian assange to ecuador. that is required by law. today, the ecuadorean minister says he is meeting with his u.k. correspondent at the u.n. and
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will make the request, the demand that julian assange be given safe passage. he also said they made every effort to get guarantees that julian assange would not be forwarded from sweden to the unit's states for prosecution precooks you mean it would give him up to be questioned by sweden if their concern is having sent to the united states. >> that is their major concern. the united states refuse to answer the question of whether not to prosecute julian assange. >> michael ratner, thank you. tonight i will be at arlington, virginia, at the george mason university founder's hall, room 125, at 7:30 pm, and on friday night in charlotteville, virginia, at 7 pm in the nau (now) auditorium , south lawn commons university of virginia, then on saturday at 1 pm at the green festival in washington dc, the baltimore book festival at 7 pm, and on sunday at noon in richmond, virginia at at 7 pm in norfolk virginia, wrapping up our virginia leg of the tour at virginia tech in blacksburg on monday night, before heading to denver for the first presidential debate. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning.
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